Returns Gone Wild: Up To 30% of Merchandise Comes Back

The most common form of retail fraud is the return of stolen merchandise, and now, in the return season, is the time stores need to watch for it. And who pays the price? You. With stricter return policies. “According to most industry estimates, shoppers in the United States will return about $100 billion of merchandise this year, and about 9 percent of the returns will be fraudulent.”

Retailers do not like returns. “Today, as much as 5 percent to 30 percent of a retailer’s sales can end up back in the store,” said George Stalk,

a director at The Boston Consulting Group

So what can you do? Keep your receipt. Keep your receipt. Keep your receipt! As fraud grows, it’s only going to get tougher to return the ugly sweater grandma gave you. —MEGHANN MARCO

Returns: Up to a third of items go back [Star-Ledger]


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  1. WhatThe... says:

    Yes, that’s true. I worked retail for several years – CS Desk no less – hated the day after Christmas.

    Gifts without gift receipts, that we wish to return, get ebay’d or donated. It just becomes to much of a hassle to get that $5 in store credit for the sweater that doesn’t fit, costed grandma $20, but it’s on clearance now so that’s what you get.

  2. iuubob says:

    Ugh, my lovely bride bought me some fundamentally flawed technology for Christmas, a Sirius Stiletto (that’s an entire post in and unto itself). She bought it through Amazon association with Crutchfield. So much for easy returns. In order to return an item you need to request a return code. Sounds simple, right? No chance. A return code can only be secured via the phone (yeah, I checked it is almost 2007). At this point, 5 minutes – now that’s customer service, UGH!